Russia to spend up to 7 trillion rubles on army
The military budget of Russia in 2018-2020 will total almost 6,8 trillion rubles, Russia's Deputy Minister of Finance Leonid Gornin said at a meeting of the Council of the Federation Committee on Defense and Security.
"According to he project of the federal budget in 2018-2020, 2 trillion 271 billion rubles will be allocated on national defence and national security, law enforcement activities, 2 trillion 228 billion rubles in 2019 and 2 trillion 295 billion rubles in 2020," Interfax cited Gornin as saying.
Vestnik Kavkaza earlier reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on November 17 which said Russia’s armed forces numbered just over 1.9 million people, including over 1 million military servicemen.
A military observer of the TASS news agency, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the direct military expenditures of the 2018-2020 budget correspond to the minimal requirements of the Russian army. "Requirements for modern combat training and combat equipment are constantly growing, while there is less money for them. On the other hand, it limits the threat of Russia being drawn into the arms race, which is provoked by the United States," he said.
"The money allocated for the necessary development of the armed forces is enough. But on the other hand, the armed forces are also pensioners, families of servicemen, housing for the military. According to the law on military service, the maintenance of officers should be annually increased by 2% higher than inflation, but it has not been implemented for five years. Since January 1, they raise the spending by 4% - but this is exactly the level of inflation, that is, the law is not being implemented," Viktor Litovkin drew attention.
In addition, Russia will need higher expenses for its military presence abroad. "For example, in Syria, we do not just fight terrorists, but also because we need bases in the Mediterranean to contain the US fleet," the retired colonel said.
The head of the Center of analysis of strategies and technologies, Ruslan Pukhov, in turn, noted that in this three-year budget the government and society gave the maximum that they could give to the army and the defense-industrial complex.
The expert drew attention to the fact that military expenditures are, above all, the funding of people, not equipment. "It's people who fight, which means people should be fed, well-dressed, confident that their families will receive enough money and proper social protection in case of loss of bread-winner," the head of the Center of analysis of strategies and technologies summarized.